The lingering leadership crisis within the opposition People’s Democratic (PDP took another turn over the weekend, when Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, the Chairman of the PDP Reconciliation Committee, called on the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee to step down in the interest of the party.
Dickson said the stage was now set for all the key stakeholders and elders of the party to influence the caretaker committee to yield its authority to the Ali Sheriff-led leadership.
His words: “When the idea of making Sheriff the National Chairman of our party was hatched, I personally kicked against it.
“I also turned down all the overtures from Sheriff because I did not believe in him and what he did. So now, my position is that we have to move forward. I am a politician of conviction,
I am not a politician of convenience and I am not a typical Nigerian politician.”
Dickson expressed these positions yesterday while addressing newsmen in Abuja.
He further explained that the PDP had come to a threshold when the right political decision should be taken to end the lingering crisis.
According to him: “The Makarfi–led Caretaker Committee should remember that it was a brainchild of the majority of party members, including the convention in Port Harcourt.”
“I and up to 80% of the population of the PDP members were for Makarfi but the unfolding events have compelled us to adopt a political resolution instead of embarking on further bickering.”
“As politicians and democrats, we must first obey the constitution and all other instruments of civil rule and which include obeying the judiciary.’’
“We had expected that the Court of Appeal would give us judgment, but it rather upheld Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party.
“Whether anybody likes Sheriff’s face or not, the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee was stripped of its authority to manage the affairs of the party the day the judgement was delivered.”
“It was in the spirit to honour the court’s pronouncement that the party’s reconciliation committee that I chair, submitted its report on how we shall move forward with Sheriff.”
“In fact, as it stands now, Sheriff has started addressing issues within the party, he is the one sending names of party members contesting elections in various states.
“If there is going to be a by-election in Makarfi’s home state, Kaduna today, INEC would not accept correspondences from Makarfi any longer because his business in the party has ended,” said Dickson.
Explaining that Senator Sheriff had always been inclined towards a political resolution of the crisis, Dickson said that Makarfi had remained adamant.
His words: “So, the reconciliation committee which I chair met several times to review our position in the light of the Court of Appeal’s judgement.
“The reality is that Makarfi no longer has the legal backing to carry on with the task of managing the party.
“We are aware of this quagmire, and therefore, the reconciliation committee went ahead to formulate a realistic, practical and strategic response to this reality because in the end, it would be to the benefit of the PDP.’’